T Natarajan, the left-arm pacer became the first Indian to debut across all the formats in the same tour. The speedster was the highest wicket-taker for India in the T20I series against Australia.
Having been on the field for the past over 5 months in Australian tour, T Natarajan is currently having a memorable time of his life. The 29-year left-arm Tamil Nadu pacer, who featured in the IPL before the trip to Australia, spoke to selected journalists on Monday on how life has changed in the last few months, being part of the Indian team, managing workload in future and more.
T Natarajan Miss Being Part Of India’s Test Squad For First 2 Tests At Chennai
T Natarajan travelled to Australia as a net bowler after impressing with his executions of yorker in IPL 2020. But he ended up debuting across all 3 formats. Included in ODIs as the backup of Navdeep Saini, he played the last ODI. T Natarajan also made the debut in the three-match T20I series and picked six wickets in three matches.
T Natarajan picked up likes of Marnus Labuschagne in ODI, Glenn Maxwell, D Arcy Short in T20Is and also Matthew Wade in Test. He has picked up wickets of Virat Kohli, Shane Watson, MS Dhoni, Andre Russell and AB De Villiers in IPL 2020.
“But I do understand that it’s important to take a break. Given that I did not spend time with the family in the last six months, I am fine with it. But undoubtedly, I will feel bad that I’m not able to be with the national team when they are playing in Chennai.” says T Natarajan as he misses being part of India’s squad for first 2 Tests.
Eventually, he was also handed over the Test cap after injuries to frontline pacers. The left-arm pacer notched three wickets in his debut Test match in The Gabba.
“It all feels like a dream. I was hoping to get a chance to play in the IPL. Once I began doing well in the IPL, five months just went like a blur. I am very happy and the last few months have been unforgettable, ” on life in last few months.
“There was a lot of support from the team members and support staff. Not once did I feel that I was new to the side. In fact, I felt like I had been playing with them for a very long time. Everyone made me comfortable which was very special, ” on Indian dressing room atmosphere.
T Natarajan has now played one Test, one ODI and three T20I with a total of 11 wickets in his name. He has been given rest for the first two Tests against England at the home.
T Natarajan Looking To Play All Formats Maintaining Workload
In only his second season in IPL in 2020 at UAE, he picked 16 scalps in 16 games averaging 31.5 for SunRisers Hyderabad. KXIP picked him up initially in IPL 2017 for 3 crores after his sterling performances in the domestic season and in the first season of Tamil Nadu Premier League as well. He played in 6 games in his debut IPL season and picked up 2 wickets.
“Ahead of my India debut, he said, ‘continue to do whatever you have been doing so far, but do it with confidence. The kind of motivation one gets from him is enormous, ” on coach Ravi Shastri
“I spent considerable time with him in Australia and worked on numerous areas and his inputs were very crucial. He was someone whom I knew well and was able to ask questions freely. He would share his inputs on how to bowl during a particular situation and how to become more effective, “on Bharat Arun.
“I am looking to play in all formats and will maintain my workload accordingly. I am keen to work on my strength and endurance levels in the coming months. Because I trained continuously during those months of lockdown, I was able to take care of the workload in IPL and in Australia, ” on workload management.
“Having played continuously for the last 5-6 months, BCCI had given me rest for some weeks. If I am aiming to play all three formats, I need to be on top of my fitness. The team management wants me to improve my endurance as they seem happy with my skills. Red-ball cricket is a test of endurance.”
“If I am given the go-ahead by the BCCI then I will certainly play the Vijay Hazare Trophy. In fact, I was asked to play in the Syed Mushtaq Ali but BCCI wanted me to be given a break and I couldn’t go on to play for TN in the competition, “on playing again for Tamil Nadu.
“Having played for TN for many years, I just missed being there with the team when they lifted the trophy. I’m extremely happy for them. They played like a team during the tournament and thoroughly deserved this victory.” on Tamil Nadu’s win.
In 21 first-class matches, he has 67 wickets averaging 27.59. In 3 T20Is, he has 6 wickets averaging 13.83 and in 1 ODI he has 2 scalps averaging 35 and in 1 Test he has 3 wickets averaging 39.66. Although not included in first 2 Tests, he is almost certain to be included in limited-overs squad.